vegan sourdough cornbread, eggless sourdough cornbread

Sourdough Cornbread for a Special Diet

In recent years I’ve had learn or invent some vegan recipes due to health (allergy) issues experienced by some family members. Fortunately, though my knee jerk impression to the word “vegan” is to understand it as meaning “doesn’t taste so good,” this is not always the case. Recently I accidentally came up with a recipe for vegan sourdough cornbread, which happens to fit the special dietary needs of everyone in our home and tastes great!

“Vegan” doesn’t have to mean inferior.

I had been craving cornbread, so one evening I took time to grind some cornmeal. Then, just before bedtime, I mixed up some sourdough starter with about 50% cornmeal and 50% white flour. The next morning, I started my cornbread before chores, which on a work day is before 5 am. I added the salt and baking soda. We were running low on butter, so I used olive oil in its place. Hurriedly, I put the cornbread in the oven and headed out to do the milking. When I returned with the milk, it was done.

corn for grinding, corn for making cornmeal
We grow Mesquakie Indian Corn, an Iowa heirloom, grinding it for both cornmeal and grits.

I took the sourdough cornbread from the oven and let it cool while I finished the rest of the chores. Only then did it occur to me that I had forgotten to add eggs. Eggs are usually included in cornbread not only for nutrition but also because they lend cohesiveness to the finished product. They help hold the cornbread together.

This recipe doesn’t require home grown cornmeal, though it is a nice thing. To learn more about growing your own corn for meal see: Why Grow “Non Sweet” Corn.

Homegrown cornmeal, fresh ground cornmeal
This is cornmeal made with Mesquakie Indian corn.

Just before I headed to work, I cut myself some cornbread with some trepidation, took a bite and… found it to be quite good!

I had accidentally discovered vegan sourdough cornbread!

vegan sourdough cornbread, eggless sourdough cornbread
Sourdough combined with baking soda makes the bread rise, just as if one had used baking powder.

For the next several days we all enjoyed slices of this cornbread. Every time I took a bite, I was impressed with its good corn flavor and the fact that it did not crumble apart. This is the cornbread I’ll be making from now on! Here’s the recipe. Our course on Sourdough gives full instruction on starting and maintaining a sourdough culture as well as some great recipes.

Here’s what I had just made:

Recipe: No Egg, Dairy Free Sourdough Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sourdough culture
  • At least 2 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 cup (more or less) of additional white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A little more than 1/4 cup of olive oil

Utensils

  • Cast iron frying pan or some kind of baking pan
  • rubber spatula for mixing (or wooden spoon)
  • An oven
  • Mixing bowl

The Process:

Five to eight hours in advance:

  • mix up a cup of sourdough starter, 1 1/2 cups of water and as much cornmeal and white flour as needed to make a good thick batter (not dough)

When ready to cook the cornbread:

  • Put about 1/3 cup of olive oil in the cast iron frying pan and preheat¬† in oven, at 350 F. for 15 minutes..
  • Mix, and if necessary, grind the salt and baking powder together, so as to avoid clumps.
  • Add baking powder, salt mixture to the mature starter/batter. Stir it in.
  • Pour this mix into the hot frying pan, on top of the hot olive oil and bake approximately 20 minutes, until the top begins to brown.
  • Let cool a bit and enjoy!

The Resilient Gardener has wonderful insights into the culinary differences between various colors and types of corn used for cornmeal. It also contains special recipes for gluten free any hypoglycemic dietary needs.

Goodreads review of The Resilient Gardener

Do you have a unique recipe for a special dietary need? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

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